We have developed this portfolio of relevant projects that most directly relate to the scope of services requested by CVCF and have included project summaries below along with links to view relevant project deliverables.
Bold Bison provides comprehensive management, oversight, and execution of all communications efforts of Kinship Foundation, supporting the Foundation’s conservation, biomedical, and education initiatives. Our multi-year relationship with the foundation has included developing and maintaining five program websites, designing and implementing engagement strategies for program participants, producing robust video and media content, and overseeing social and earned media strategies—all grounded in annual strategic communications plans.
In summer of 2023, Bold Bison produced this first edition of Kinship Conservation Commons, a new annual publication to highlight the impact of Kinship Conservation Fellows’ work across the globe. This inaugural edition of Commons was designed to enhance alumni engagement, program recruitment and applicant referrals, and impact storytelling.
San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center
Throughout their first year of operation, the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center (PIC) engaged Bold Bison to support the launch of their brand and to strategize how to grow into a mature organization. As part of our engagement, Bold Bison established foundational communications objectives and engagement strategies, identified key audiences and the best methods to reach them, and implemented recommendations across the organization’s channels.
We developed effective communications and outreach strategies as central components of PIC’s programmatic efforts to build consensus among regional stakeholders on community-driven planning and economic development goals, including to coordinate the Southern Border Coalition’s Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) application. Additionally, Bold Bison spearheaded efforts to maintain regular communication with the organization’s advisory council of elected officials, agency partners, and municipal employees.
As a key objective of the engagement, we strategized with senior staff to define where the organization wanted to be by its first anniversary, outlined the steps needed to get there, and continuously identified opportunities to develop capacity within the organization to better activate its partner network.
2022 Annual Report (Report by Bold Bison; design by Buchanan Design)
Monthly President’s Updates
Chicago Region Food System Fund
The Chicago Region Food System Fund addresses hunger and business disruption by bolstering the region’s communities and local food system in response to COVID-19 and other systemic shocks. Since its initial launch in 2020, Bold Bison has directed brand and executive communications and advised on strategy while the Fund distributed over $14M in grants.
In our work with the Fund, Bold Bison has focused on identifying opportunities and developing strategies to reach beyond the food sector within the city—including social media strategies that amplify grantee work holistically and specific efforts reach community newspapers and niche media outlets. Outside of the city and metropolitan region, Bold Bison has helped encourage farmer and food producer organizations to think of themselves as part of the Chicago foodshed and connect with the Fund.
In addition to direct support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bold Bison has guided the Fund as it reshaped the way both funders and on-the-ground community practitioners think about a cohesive food system for Chicago. Key to this new understanding is that the types of organizations participating in food work in the city and region are far broader than simply those who are self-identified food organizations. As a result of the evolution in its own narrative and self-understanding within the philanthropy sector, the Fund is transitioning into a participatory grant-making model to distribute an additional $10M over the next two years.
Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore/Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State University
In 2022, Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore, Professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University, engaged Bold Bison to assist her team at the Bioeconomy Institute in efforts to expand regenerative agricultural practices on private farms. The project sought to leverage Professor Schulte Moore’s recent MacArthur Fellowship (“Genius grant”) to expand awareness of her signature applied research projects, notably prairie strips, which integrate native plants to row crops for increased biodiversity conservation and farm revenue.
Throughout the engagement, Bold Bison partnered with Dr. Schulte Moore’s team to support speechwriting, enhance visual storytelling efforts, and position her as a thought leader in the sector.
Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore speech to the Westminster Town Hall Forum, March 2022 (speech begins at 34:00)
As the culmination of the engagement, Bold Bison identified opportunities for the Bioeconomy Institute to lead multi-stakeholder coalitions, and capitalize on its position within the Iowa State University system to apply for, intake, and regrant Federal infrastructure and climate grants to support national implementation of prairie strips on private farms. Drawing on our in-depth experience with conservation and infrastructure funding in Texas, Illinois, and California, as well as our expertise in network stewardship, Bold Bison provided the Bioeconomy Institute with a roadmap to promote widespread regenerative agriculture while connecting to similar networks across the country.
The Land Trust Alliance
Bold Bison provides regular communications, facilitation, and strategic advising services to the
Land Trust Alliance. Most recently, the Alliance engaged Bold Bison to produce an impact report on a 10-year collaborative grantmaking initiative to expand conservation capacity and organizational strength of its members in Oregon.
Since 2021, Bold Bison has advised the Land Trust Alliance on the development of a multi-year leadership development and capacity building strategy to support its member land trusts across Texas. This iterative partnership has sought to identify and assess capacity constraints among member land trusts and develop solutions to shared challenges. As part of this two-year engagement, Bold Bison has stewarded a statewide network of land trust professionals responsible for their organization’s communications, hosted skills-based workshops, worked intensively with seven land trusts to build their capacity to tell stories through video, and advised member land trusts on discrete communications and marketing challenges.
Bold Bison orchestrated and implemented the public launch of Proofing Station, a new nonprofit charitable investment fund providing capital access to food and agriculture organizations and businesses across the Upper Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). The organization launched in August 2023 with a $25 million dollar impact-first investment fund. Bold Bison developed the name, logo, brand, and messaging for Proofing Station in addition to building the organization’s website, developing talking points for board and staff, handling press and digital communications for the launch, and developing communications collateral.